Opinion: Militants throw a new challenge
The militants seem to have set their eyes higher this time by targeting the dear of a police officer who is said to have played a key role in combating militancy.
So far, they had been killing bloggers, free thinkers, non-Muslims and Muslims who believed in "other" kinds of "religious rituals".
But with the recent killing of the wife of superintendent of police in Chittagong yesterday, they in a way have declared a war on the law enforcers. Their objective is quite simple -- to instill fear among the law enforcers so that they do not meddle with the militants.
This is also for the first time that after a militant attack, the home minister did not term it a "Bichchhinno Ghotona" (A stray incident). Rather, he had almost immediately blamed it squarely on the militants.
In the past killings in which the bloggers or non-Muslims died, the law enforcers' reaction often seemed to be lacking in enthusiasm. Even the politicians had tried to trivialize the murders by often blaming people for writing 'controversial' things on the Facebook.
Such reactions from the policymakers will always embolden the militants. Militants are militants. They are a present and real threat to our society no matter who they target.
It is also foolish to claim that they have weakened a lot. The latest spate of events clearly proves the opposite. While the law enforcers took satisfaction that the "backbone of the militants have been broken", the militants spawned in various names, in various corners of the country.
They have trained as their coordinated and lightening strikes prove. Such fearful elements have to be confronted on social, intellectual, political as well as counter terrorism fronts. Otherwise, the future may not be that bright.
According to the home minister, 37 target killings took place before Mitu. Police have so far identified suspects in 34 cases. So far, 144 people have been arrested and 49 of them have given confessional statement.